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A new documentary that premiered last week doubles as both a gorgeous nature film giving the public a rare, up-close view of the rugged landscape along the 1200-mile US-Mexico border spanning the state of Texas, as well as a political film about the tragic harms to humans and wildlife caused by building “that wall.” The […]
In response to a demand from Congressional Democrats, the Pentagon developed a new list of climate vulnerable installations in addition to the installations they identified in January. The list of 20 installations, The Hill reported, are those most at risk from climate change threats in the next 20 years and includes places like Naval Air Station Key West, Florida and the Army’s Fort Hood in Texas. Democrats in Congress were dissatisfied with the Pentagon’s initial assessment, believing that it was incomplete, and they demanded more information, including the specific mitigation measures to alleviate climate risks at installations, and cost estimates for such efforts.
Reuters reported yesterday that the Trump Administration had planned to open a new detention center at Goodfellow Air Force Base in Texas to house up to 7,500 unaccompanied migrant children, but the site may not be safe. Earthjustice issued a report yesterday in which it raised concerns with this site because the organization has identified fouSuperfund sites on base in proximity to the proposed housing site, including a former landfill, artillery range, fuel depot, and fire training areas. While some areas have been cleaned up not all have been remediated, thus Earthjustice argues in the report that more extensive testing is warranted to ensure the site is safe because the clean up may not have been sufficient to house children there.
The usually liberal federal appeals court in California sides with President Trump on Monday, ruling that the government has wide latitude to waive environmental laws to build a segment of the border wall in order to put on a speed construction of some border construction projects in southern California. According to NPR, the court let stand a Department of Homeland Security decision to bypass environmental regulations — including the National Environmental Policy Act, Clean Air Act, and Endangered Species Act — to quickly construct barriers and roads near the U.S.-Mexico border.
Among the most consequential impacts of the government shutdown are the strain and diminution of capacity to the National Weather Service (NWS) operations, upon which all public and private daily weather forecasts are based.
Why This Matters: One-third of the U.S. economy is impacted by the weather. Indeed, as The Post points out, that means many sectors such as transportation, energy, national security, agriculture, the stock market, not to mention forecasts of extreme weather — are now operating on less than the highly accurate forecasts they usually can rely upon. And imagine if we have a “billion dollar” storm such as a “snowmaggedon” while the shutdown drags on, with lives and profits at risk, which seems increasingly probable as we are now squarely in winter snow season. Offices like the one that Saha works in are down to skeleton staff — only one or two rather than dozens. This weather forecasting degradation is much riskier to the general public than any risk we face from the lack of a feckless border wall segment.
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